My wedding dress is currently hanging in our storage room. I just took it out of the Rubbermaid bin it’s been in since I took brought it home on October 7. The bottom of it is still dirty from my walk up the rainy aisle on our wedding day, our pictures in the grass, the dance floor at the hotel. I never got it cleaned because there is always something better to use that money for.

We visited a local consignment shop recently, took in some old toys the kid is too big to play with now, along with last year’s Halloween costume. She was a monkey for as long as we could keep the costume on her. She was as cute and ridiculous as a baby should be on their first Halloween.

I get the feeling I’m supposed to be sentimental about these things – that I should want to keep them boxed up, preserved, to show her or even her children should she have any.

I am very rarely sentimental about things. I am sentimental about my memories and that’s why I tend to write things down, but I don’t feel a real need to save the objects associated with those memories unless the object itself is truly special.

I have four shadowboxes on our mantle filled with truly special things: One holds my wedding bouquet, which I did not toss; one holds our cake toppers, made by my best friend (who I’ve known now for 18 years – holy crap) and one of the awesomest parts of our reception; one holds all things Henry – his first collar, his first tag, his first sweater and the toy he came home with – I keep these things to remember just how teeny tiny he was when we first met him (2.1 lbs the day we brought him home with us almost six years ago) and the last is Maggie’s – the sleeper we brought her home in and the hat they gave her when she was born, a pacifier that she grew out of so quickly and her little bracelet connecting her to us for hospital purposes.

If you walk upstairs to our third floor you will see picture frames taking up most of one wall. Pictures of Joe and me when we first started dating, pictures of us getting married and now many, many pictures of Maggie and all the things we’ve done with her in her not-quite 20 months. Near the top of the stairs is another shadow box that holds a beautiful little purple dress with a picture pinned to it – this picture of two of my absolute favourite people in the world:

Gramps and Maggie, July 26, 2010

They had just met and my grandfather fell head over heels for that little girl, just like I did.

Sometimes I look at her and I wonder if I’m going to regret getting rid of some of these things – things that show me just how small she was or just what kinds of things she loved, her ‘first’ things. The fact is the stuff clutters up my house, but the memories fill the spaces in my heart.

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